Sam Burnham, Curator
A year of takeout, curb service, and delivery dining has taken a toll on many restaurants, particularly those that thrive on comfortable dining rooms and a dine-in experience. For other establishments, those with drive thru windows and takeout-friendly menus, business continues.
One such place sits amid Alto Plaza, a strip mall on Shorter Avenue in Rome. Coach Drew put me on this place. He has a knack for finding the small local joints that ABG holds dear. Sammy’s American Grill is a perfect example of such a place.
I’m not sure what the dine-in appeal to me is there. The dining room is pretty basic with basic tables and chairs with commercial radio playing to round out the ambience. It’s pretty standard. No frills. But I like it there. Most customers come in, pay for their order and hit the road. I don’t think I’ve been in that at least a half dozen or more customers snagged a takeout order while I was dining. With a nearby college and a variety of residential neighborhoods within a short distance make this a great location for takeout.
As far as the food, Sammy’s makes me think of several food trucks condensed into a single storefront. You can choose from burgers, seafood, Pholly steak, wings, Italian beef sandwiches just to name a few. They have an impressive selection.
I’ll say this, this place isn’t going to win a James Beard Award. They don’t have any Michelin Stars. That’s not what it’s about. What you will get is a solid good quality meal. You’ll get fast service. You’ll get a decent price for what you order. You’ll feel like they want you to be there. You’ll feel like a valued customer.
My go-to order is the cheeseburger & wings combo. The wings are available in several flavors. They’re fried but not breaded before tossed in the sauce of your choosing. So they’re crisp but not bready. If you order’hot,’ that’s what you get. So keep that in mind. The burger comes with fresh toppings. Wash it down with the peach punch from the bubble dispenser. I just call it “red.”
This place is popular with a constant stream of takeout customers but I don’t hear people in town talking about it all that much. It’s like a really well kept secret. So if you’re in the Rome area and looking for food truck experience without the sweaty standing in line in a sweltering parking lot experience, swing into Sammy’s and be impressed.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire